Oct 27, 2014

3d printable TALK device enables disabled to communicate with breath

Robo (aka. Arsh Shah Dilbagi IRL) has developed this 3d printable communication device for severely disabled that uses persons breath for input. The device is cheap to make at some 72 USD for the working prototype.
Great project!

Project summary:
People suffering from Developmental-Disabilities like LIS, ALS etc. are almost entirely paralysed and this disables them to communicate in any way except using an AAC device. Estimates show that approximately 1.4% of world population suffer from such disorders which is more than the entire population of Germany. The Life Expectancy of such people is estimated at 20 yrs below average, mainly because of lack of expression. Current AAC Devices cost thousands of dollars and are slow, bulky and not generic. I decided to find a better solution - An AAC device which is affordable, faster, portable and generic.
Talk expects a person to be able to give two distinguishable exhales (by varying intensity/time) for converting into electrical signals using MEMS Microphone. The signals are processed by a microprocessor and labeled as 'Dots' - for short exhales and 'Dashes' - for longer exhales. These are further interpreted as Morse Code, converted to words/sentences and sent to another microprocessor for synthesising. Talk features two modes - one to communicate in English and other to give specific commands/phrases, and 9 different voices.
Talk has made two major breakthroughs by increasing speaking rate and becoming the world's most affordable AAC device. I got predicted results by testing the device with a person suffering from SEM and Parkinson's Disease. In future I would like to add auto-predictions to my Computing-Engine and integrate Talk with modern technology like Google Glass to make the world a better place to live people with Developmental-Disabilities.
Project homepage with much more details:

I'm still not sure if the project was made available to public and open sourced, but it should be relatively easy to replicate ...

Photo credit: Components of Talk’s final design / Arsh Shah Dilbagi’s Google Science Fair project